Sen. Van Hollen: If Trump Pardons Manafort ‘that Would Be a Total Abuse of Power’

‘Clearly another step that would be taken to try to obstruct justice’

EXCERPT:

VAN HOLLEN: “That would be a total abuse of power. Clearly another step that would be taken to try to obstruct justice because Paul Manafort clearly, even if he is convicted, could come forward with additional information about the President and other aspects of what the President’s campaign was engaged in that may not have been part of the counts in this trial. So that would be a gross abuse of process. Now, it is true that the President has the power of the pardon. On the other hand, if you look at the guidelines for which justice departments have used in the past for exercising that pardon power, there have been clearer steps that have been gone through. This President has blown through all of that. He has undermined the integrity of the pardon process. He has politicized it. You asked me about the response from my Republican colleagues with respect to what the President has done in revoking security clearances, that would be a moment if he used the pardon power in such an abusive way that people as Americans, as patriots need to stand up. They need to stand up for the rule of law. Let’s see how things proceed. Again, the main thing is this investigation, the Mueller investigation must be allowed to run its course if the public will have confidence in our system.”

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